Choosing the Right Team: Understanding Head Start Background Checks and Staff Qualification Requirements
One of the biggest challenges for Head Start programs is recruiting and retaining qualified staff that can provide comprehensive quality services to the children and families they serve. In addition to staff qualifications, programs must navigate complex background check requirements to make sure they comply with the Head Start Program Performance Standards. This training will cover the following topics to help Head Start programs select and maintain the right team members:
- Background Checks: The Head Start Program Performance Standards significantly increased the background check requirements for program employees and certain contractors. Learn the ins and outs of background checks: what you have to do, when, and for whom.
- Staff Qualifications and competencies: The Head Start Program Performance Standards increased the qualifications for certain positions and defined qualifications for others. Learn what qualifications are required, what qualifications allow for grantee flexibility, and what to do with grantee flexibility.
- Drafting a coordinated approach for professional development: The Head Start Program Performance Standards require you to develop a coordinated approach for addressing the professional development of Head Start employees. Learn what this requirement means and how to satisfy it.
For over 40 years, FTLF has been a leader in federal grants law. Federal grants law is a complex and expansive practice area – as such, our professionals work with a client base as diverse as the array of federal funds, including for-profit and not-for-profit organizations, associations, local governments, colleges and universities, research institutions and various health care and education entities. We have unique expertise in all aspects of the federal grants lifecycle, from receipt of award through close-out. Much of our work focuses on financial and program requirements, procurements, and property issues. We also advise clients about how best to prepare for and respond to government reviews, audits and cost disallowances.
FTLF also has extensive experience in federal grants policy, with a special focus in health and human services programs including Head Start and Early Head Start. In addition, for years our attorneys have designed and led in-person and web-based trainings for clients as well as other attorneys on a broad range of grants lifecycle issues.
Representative activities include:
- Interpreting and applying OMB common rules, federal statues, regulations and guidance;
- Negotiating and drafting sub-recipient and vendor (contractor) agreements;
- Responding to audit findings and government inquiries;
- Developing and implementing compliance and self-assessment programs;
- Counseling on governance requirements and best practices;
- Facilitating affiliations, collaborations and partnerships between grantees other parties;
- Advising on programmatic requirements, options and obligations; and
- Writing, teaching and coaching about these elements.
FTLF recommends anyone involved in the hiring, firing, onboarding and staff education process within the Head Start organization, but all are welcome.
At the end of the presentation, participants will be able to:
- Define pre-employment requirements, such as background checks and health exams.
- Identify minimum staff qualifications and competencies
- Draft or refine their program’s coordinated approach for professional development
Nicole is a Partner in the firm’s Federal Grants, Litigation, and Health Law practice groups. Nicole offers her clients specialized guidance in compliance with federal grant law including specific programmatic requirements as well as the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles and Audit Requirements of Federal Awards. Nicole represents a variety of community-based organizations, before State and Federal courts as well as administrative bodies. Nicole leads the firms Head Start education and training efforts, by designing seminars and meetings both in-person and via webinar on a number of grants-related topics. Nicole ensures that participants are up-to-date on federal regulations, management and financial requirements to protect their grants. Prior to joining the firm, Nicole worked as a staff attorney for almost five years with Legal Services of Northern Virginia and Rappahannock Legal Services, representing low-income clients, including Spanish speaking clients, in family law, housing, and consumer matters. [Full Bio]
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